Home Forums Bows and Equipment Getting started on making wooden arrows

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    • worldofvictor
      Post count: 3


      I shoot carbon arrows on a 30 # recurve bow and would like to start shooting wooden arrows and actually make them. What is the best way to get started? Should I contact the local bass pro shop ot see if they know any traditional bowyer in town that can teach me the skills? I do not mind following literature and doing it myself . Is there a manual on arrow building in the bowyers bible? If so, which volume? Side note here…that I have no experience in wood craft.

      Thanks in advance


    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2371

      I am no expert. But making arrows will not require a teacher. You can learn alot just from a 3Rivers catalog… And I am sure there is a book or two that covers it.

      The big question people seem to ask is what fletching jig to use… I use a jo jan cause I can do 6 arrows at a time…

      Best advice I can give you is to just start doing it. Good luck and have fun!
    • David Coulter
      Post count: 2270

      I can vouch for Steve. I’m no expert, but I’ve been making or assembling my own arrows almost from the start. I had a JoJan six jig, but sold that and bought a Pro-Fletcher. I use the fletching tape, so I don’t have to wait for the glue to dry. It works great. I know some folks use the more inexpensive Bohning jig and say it works just as well. I just follow the 3Rivers instructions and I have to beat up an arrow pretty hard for pretty long to loose a feather. It only takes about 15 minutes to fletch a shaft and you can vary the fletching to suit your specific needs.
      The same goes for cutting and tuning your shafts. It’s all good. All fun. And cheaper, too.

    • worldofvictor
      Post count: 3

      Thank you both. I will get in touch with 3 rivers and ask for their catalog.

    • Bounty Hunter
      Post count: 149

      What the guys have told you is very true. Jump in and get your feet wet, just don’t go too deep to start with. The main thing about making good wood arrows is starting out with good shafts. You can’t get them from just anywhere either. 3Rivers sales pretty good shafts, but they are not always spine and weight matched as close as I like. I have almost totally switched to Sitka Spruce shafts from Hildbrand. Roxane and Neil really do an awesome job on their shafts and I highly recommend them. However to start with you might want to get your tools, jigs, stains and sealants then play with some less than premium shafts. You can find seconds and even thirds for cheap at a lot of places, even Ebay. As far as fletching jigs go, diffferent folks perfer different jigs for one reason or another. I have for or five in the shop, including the Jo Jan that Steve mentioned, but the one I use 99.9% of the time is my Blitzenburger. It has more adjustment then any jig on the market. If you have any questions I will be more than happy to answer them the best I can.


    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      I’m in agreement with all above, except …

      I don’t make enough arrows to justify a multi-arrow jig, and rather enjoy the slow, catch-as-can process of applying one feather at a time, waiting half an hour, applying another, etc. It seems more enjoyable to space out the activity this way, among other things I’m doing. It’s a good thing to do when there’s no rush. I use a cheap plastic Bohning jig, have for eons, and it has performed flawlessly.

      You’ll also need a tapering tool — an inexpensive device like a pencil sharpener that puts the proper taper on each end of the shaft. And other than glue, that’s about it. What you save on your first dozen arrows, if you don’t go in too deep for starters, will pay for the equipment.

      Overall, I suggest you google Dave Doran at Archery Past in Bend, OR, then give him a call. Dave is the best and will listen to your questions and suggest alternatives without trying to sell you anything. Doug fir for heavy arrows (Surewood) and Sitka spruce for lighter arrows seem to be the choices these days of many experienced arrowsmiths. Determining spine is the only really challenging part. As light as your bow is, finding the right shafts will be a bit more difficult. Indeed, the Bowyer’s Bible has a big section on arrow making, far more info than you’ll need, but I don’t recall which volume — maybe VI? Enjoy. Dave

    • Robin Conrads
      Post count: 916

      Building wood arrows is also covered in T.J.’s book The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook. We sell it on this site (under Products) or you can find it at Kustom King, 3Rivers, Lost Nation, etc.

    • mhough3
      Post count: 2

      TBMADMIN wrote: Building wood arrows is also covered in T.J.’s book The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook. We sell it on this site (under Products) or you can find it at Kustom King, 3Rivers, Lost Nation, etc.

      Hi I’m new to this forum so I’m not sure if this will be “on the wall”. T.J. Conrad’s book has a chapter in there that’s good enough to know what to buy and how to get going.

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